Happy Songs for Happy People Enhanced, Import
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MOGWAI return with their fourth album. The follow up to 2001's 'Rock Action', 'Happy Songs For Happy People'. Self produced with TONY DOOGAN (BELLE AND SEBASTIAN, DELGADOS).
Adventurous Scot rockers Mogwai may never shake reputation for creating brutal music, but Happy Songs for Happy People demonstrates that they can do more than render the aural equivalent of being sucked out a spaceship airlock. Until now, Stuart Braithwaite had taken on the role of Mogwai's bandleader by proxy, his tumultuous guitar playing serving as the outfit's hallmark. Now, however, multi-instrumentalist Barry Burns has stepped to the fore--albeit, with much more restraint--crooning effects-heavy vocals on "Hunted By a Freak" and teasing out a meditative piano line on the ghostly "I Know You Are But What Am I?" Indeed, more than any other Mogwai work, this album aims to create sheer bliss. Even the amp-busting crescendo of "Ratts of the Capital" matches its dark-metal pomp with chiming orchestra bells and starburst lead-guitar lines. No sudden banjo interludes or guest vocals jar with the album's slow passage toward its conclusion. True, it's hard to shake the feeling that they'll never again write something as monumental as Come On Die Young. But Mogwai still sound lush and powerful. Their time hasn't passed. --Louis Pattison
Top Customer Reviews
Happy Songs for Happy People is my introduction to Mogwai, and what a first impression it has made upon me. For weeks I have stayed up late nights listening to this CD, totally entranced by its beauty. Happy Songs is a beautiful some what instrumental post-rock album with a very mellow and relaxed feel. melodies and guitar float in the air while solid percussion and string arrangments keep things grounded while exploring new heights at the same time. Listening to this album feels like cool autumn nights, my best dreams, and butterflies in my stomach all in one.
As cliche as it sounds, I can't describe the album in words, nor can I describe its beauty. See other reviews for detailed descriptions of Mogwais sound or songs on this album. I can't say any more than that this is a beautiful album, but that's really all that needs to be said.
Review in a nutshell: Happy Songs for Happy People is a lush, full musical experience that I can not get enough of.
Dreamy, gorgeous soundscapes for the unfolding apocalypse.
Does it lack res? Of course. But so what? It's MERELY ravishingly, stultifyingly dazzling. What more do you want in these days of untethered postmodernism?
A master narrative?
The only disappointments I found are in "Moses? I Amn't" and "Boring Machine Disturbs Sleep". In the first song, while it was nearly perfect, I admit I was disappointed by the amount of analogue hiss I could hear in the percussion. It was such a haunting sound they used--I just wish it hadn't had such a major flaw in it. The other thing that disappointed me was the fact that "Boring Machine Disturbs Sleep" was in fact a bit boring in comparison to the other songs this album had to offer. I've never been impressed with the lead vocalist's unaltered voice, so I consider this track the only true weak point of the album.
But, not enough can possibly be said about the other tracks! "Killing All the Flies" starts out soft, but has a surprising explosion into a refined version of a Young Team-like rock that really makes listening worth it. "Ratts of the Capital" has a similar effect, but is even better...even as the longest track of the album, it just isn't long *enough*.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
this is a great cd. there's something very natural about the music (an impression more than anything that can be explained). songs four and six are especially good.Published on Feb. 20 2004 by circle
Another great one. It's all about the way they mix the sounds together, they repeat harmonics on and on, then add more sounds again and again until it becomes grandiose,... Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2004 by Guylaine Le Ber
guitar harmonies, dynamic drums, and pounding bass. it builds and builds and then explodes. i love this along with Young Team (another great Mogwai album). Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2004
I don't know if I would call this rock, but I would call it rock before I would call it anything else. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2004 by Ranvel
I believe so. In my eyes (and ears, more importantly), this is the most triumphant Mogwai release to date. Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2004 by mike
This album is one of those rare pieces of music that is good the first time you listen to it, and the 1000th time. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2004 by groundforce1023
One of Mogwai's more interesting and subtle albums, I appreciate the fact that they're continuing to grow and experiment, despite the constant comparisons, not only to other... Read morePublished on Nov. 14 2003 by b.evel